More steak information

I’ve just had a conversation about steak that reminded me of a method I often use when dealing with a less than ideal cut: If you purchase cheaper quality red meat in bulk and want to cut back on preparation time (if you are tired when coming home from work, but still want a decent meal), this is also a good tip –

Buy a box of freezer safe ziplock bags and a roll of parchment paper.

Make up a large batch of marinade. The marinade should contain salt, an acid of some sort, a source of flavoring like herbs or whatnot. Additional additives are sugars and chili. But a basic marinade is merely going to be acid and/or salt, with seasonings. As I’ve said, I tend to use various combinations of the following:

Red wine
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Chili oil
Tandoori spices
Korean red chili powder
A-1 here or there
Brown sugar

But that is just my chosen marinade roster.

Make a large batch. Take each steak and put it into one ziplock bag with enough marinade to cover every surface and give it a nice surrounding bath-cushion. Massage it a bit in the bag to get the liquid into the tougher bits. Squeeze out any air. Wrap this sealed bag in parchment and insert it into a second bag, making sure that there is as little air as possible inside. Freeze.

When you plan to have steaks for dinner on a given day, remove them from the freezer sometime in the morning, and put them into a dish. Let them thaw out and come to room temp in the marinade.

It will take several hours to turn from a block of ice to a block of meat-ice sitting in fluid. Another couple for the meat to thaw completely. Then an hour or so to reach room temp. Meanwhile, any potential bacterial growth on the meat will be controlled by the salts and acids within the marinade. Obviously, this changes if you are living in an incredibly warm place and have no air conditioning. If this is the case, let them thaw out in an insulated container like an igloo cooler or lunch bag. You can put them in the fridge to thaw, but it takes longer and means you have to increase your prep time on the day of, because you have to allow the meat to come to room temp before cooking. Be smart. If meat sits at room temp for long periods of time it is eventually bad, but 8-10 hours slowly thawing in a saline solution will likely be completely safe and it will most definitely be safe once you’ve put the thing in a 400 degree pan.

Don’t forget to remove from the marinade, pat dry, salt, and sear the devils on high heat. A few minutes per side at least.

And in approximately 8 minutes, you will have a delicious steak that will taste like hours of work, when in fact it was minutes. Microwave steamed vegetable side dishes are an excellent addition (I have no grudges against frozen or flash frozen produce). Pop in a baked potato while you’re at it and in 20 minutes you have a wholesome meal worthy of a restaurant.

Just a thought.

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